Two Cherub's holding the Norwich coat of arms.
What do you think when someone says the word, Norwich? for people outside Norfolk, they may think of the city as they place were “Alan Partridge” comes from or see the city as some backwater. What they don’t understand is that the history of Norwich stretches back a long time as the city originally started off as a collection of small Anglo-Saxon settlements.

Because of the river Wensum, Norwich soon grew to become a sizeable town but would suffer a major setback in 1004 when the Danes ransacked and burned down the city.

Though, even having the city burnt down would not stop Norwich from quickly recovering as by 1086, the population of Norwich had grown to 6,000 people.

In 1194, King Richard I of England granted Norwich city status. The city status and the role of Norwich as a centre of trade of many products, especially wool, would contribute to the growth of the local economy.

The journey of Norwich becoming the second biggest city in England would not be the smoothest. As the city would see the city having;
multiple outbreaks of Bubonic Plague, civil unrest (Including attempts to overthrow the king) and devastating fires.

The 1665-1666 Bubonic Plague outbreak in particular would lead to an uptick unemployment from rich residents leaving the city and would leave the city narrowly avoiding a severe food shortage (big catch of herrings from Great Yarmouth).

Norwich would also recover from the downturn caused by the 1665 outbreak and finally become the second biggest city in England and recover to its pre-English Civil war population of 25,000 people (1700 population).

However, this success was not to last as the reliance on the wool trade would come back to haunt the city as the industrial revolution sent the
wool trade into decline.

Companies in Northern England were investing mechanised textile processing while Norwich was still using traditional weaving techniques, causing the city to lose business to the north.

Though, the British Agricultural Revolution would be a massive positive for the entire county and contribute to the rapid growth of the population of the city. The range of business would diversify afterwards (Shoemaking, food processing, and eventually engineering and insurance). The economy of Norwich would become based and services and tourism.

Nowadays, Norwich is seeing a booming professional services industry and with its more high-end apartments being built, meaning even though the city has many historic buildings, the city has a lot going for it.

Latest Articles about Norwich:

History of Norwich

History of Norwich Electric Tramways

History of Norwich Electric Tramways

The Norwich Electric Tramways Company operated an electric tramway system (and later on, bus services) in Norwich between July 1900 and December 1930. The service came about as a replacement for an earlier horse-drawn carriage service and was relatively success in its brief life.
History of Chantry Place

History of Chantry Place

Chantry Place or as it is for better known by its former name; Chapelfield Shopping Centre, is the largest shopping centre in Norwich. It has 91 stores, 17 cafes and restaurants, and even 100 apartments. The architecture is often referred by locals as being generic.
The Town of Norwich (c.970 to 1194)

The Town of Norwich (c.970 to 1194)

As Northwic expanded in the following decades. The growth of Northwic swallowed other settlements, such as ConesFord. It’s not known exactly when this new town of Norwich, but sources claim that the first written reference was from 970 to 980, with oldcity.org.uk claiming that the first known reference to Norwich was written in 970 in the Liber Eliensis.
Twelfth Century Norwich (1100 to 1200)

Twelfth Century Norwich (1100 to 1200)

The eleventh century would establish Norwich as major trading town thanks to its market and good access to the sea via the River Yare. The twelfth century was a complex time for Norwich, in some ways the city was moving forward with the rebuilding of the Castle and the construction of the Cathedral completed in this century. On top of this, the relations between the English citizens of the town and the French traders were positive.
History of Sovereign House

History of Sovereign House

Sovereign House was the headquarters of the HMSO (Her Majesty’s Stationery Office) between 1968 and 1996. Sovereign House itself was located at the Anglia Square shopping precinct and was a very large brutalist office block that employed around 800 people at its peak. Though it might be surprising to know that even though Sovereign House was specifically built for the HMSO they did not own the building and in fact leased it from the owners on a 40-year lease, paying £97,000 per year in rent.
History of Magdalen Street, Norwich

History of Magdalen Street, Norwich

Magdalen street and its’ surrounding areas may be one of the most deprived areas’ in Norwich nowadays, but the deprivation of the area is something that happened in the modern era, as until the 1960s, Magdalen street was its own “ self-contained medieval quarter” that contained much of the city’s industries. The area would go on to become popular with strangers (any person not native to Norwich) and refugees, which meant that more homes would be built, in densely populated; yards, courts and alleys. in the Tudor times, more wealthy residents (mainly successful merchants) would often live in homes that were contained in private courts. Over time, the Magdalen Street area would go into long-term decline, with the yards of Magdalen Street becoming home to a number of slums before most of them were demolished in the slum clearances of the late 1930s.